Is Your Water Hard or Soft?
What Is Hard Water?
When water has high levels of calcium, magnesium, and other metals it is considered “hard” water. The more minerals found in the water source the harder the water is. It is referred to as “hard” water because it requires more soap to create a lather and is harder to clean than when using soft water. If you have hard water in your home it can cause a number of problems for appliances, drinking, and cleaning. Hard water is measured by the amount of calcium carbonate found in your water; 4 grains of CaCO3 per gallon of water is considered “hard” water. Hard water can cause irritated skin, spotting on glass, deposits in hot water heaters, scalding on sinks and fixtures, film on hard surfaces, sticky dull hair, and clothes feel harsh.
What Is Soft Water?
When surface water has low levels of calcium and magnesium ions. Soft water has a low concentration of ions in general, making sodium the only one present. It is naturally occurring where rainfall and the drainage basin of rivers are formed of hard, impervious and calcium-poor rocks. Soft water is considerably better for doing household chores because it leaves no water residue behind on dishes or on surfaces. Softened water is also better for showers and laundry creating softer, better looking laundry and hair. An additional benefit of soft water is moister skin, especially during the dry winter months.
Do I Have Hard Water?
It is very easy to find out if you have hard or soft water in your home with this at home test.
1. Find a plastic bottle and fill it halfway with water from your tap.
2. Add 5 or 6 drops of liquid dish soap and put the cap on the bottle.
3. Give the bottle a few good shakes.
4. Take the cap off and observe the soap for results.
Soft Water Result: If the bottle is full of soap suds and the overflow out of the bottle when you take the cap off you do not have hard water.
Hard Water Result: The more times you have to shake the bottle to get it to fill with suds, and the less time those suds last, the harder your water is. Only got a soapy film? Your water is very hard.
After finding out the results you have a few choices; continue to live with hard water or call in an expert to test the level of hardness and choose a water softener based on your level of hardness.
Superior Water & Air offers a variety of high-quality water softening systems from RainSoft, Hague, and our own Superior line. When you call us for a free home water evaluation, our water conditioning experts will help you make the best choice for your home and budget.